Real or Fake? Does It Matter?

I just finished reading an article on Smithsonian.com about the increased quality of lab-grown diamonds making them practically indistinguishable from natural diamonds. I've never been a big diamond person. Sure, I think they're beautiful, but the main reason I got into jewelry making was to work with elements that at one point in time were a part of the earth. I'm just as impressed by a well-cut diamond as I am a great piece of jasper with tons of color and character. Their price differs greatly, but their value is equally as precious.

The nerdy, science-lover side of me thinks the ability to create specimens that are nearly indistinguishable from the natural thing is amazing. There are functional areas that I think these diamonds are perfect for. But the other, earthy side says they will never be the same. Part of the fascination of stones for me is that they're just THERE without the intervention of humans. I guess it depends on the reason you like the stone. Is it the stone's visual beauty? It's history? It's chemistry? The energy that went into making it?

For those who make jewelry... Is there a difference between what you work with and what you like to wear personally (when it comes to natural/lab-created stones)?

For those who enjoy wearing jewelry... Does the stone's origin factor into your decision when buying a piece?

See the article on Smithsonian.com

[photo by Max Aguilera-Hellweg]

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